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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Fine-tuning CSR to the fight against pandemic

By Le Hoang

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CJ Vietnam, a member of South Korea-based CJ Group, has for the past few years accompanied Vietnam with several corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities aimed at sustainable development for the community, such as financing education for girls and supporting farmers in poverty-stricken provinces. As the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in Vietnam, especially the ongoing fourth wave, the multi-sector company has launched practical and timely CSR initiatives to deliver help to ease difficulties ushered in by the pandemic.

A good companion in the battle against the pandemic

During the ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic, which began in late April, CJ Vietnam and its subsidiaries have actively made contributions to society. Notably, in late June, the South Korean group donated nearly VND6.5 billion to Vietnam’s Covid-19 vaccine fund to join hands with the Vietnamese Government to speed up the vaccination.

Such a practical and timely contribution was expected to help Vietnam overcome the Covid pandemic and bring life back to normal.

“Over the past 20 years of doing business in Vietnam, CJ has always accompanied the Vietnamese Government in multiple social activities. Many CJ’s subsidiaries have been hit by the pandemic, so CJ Vietnam hopes its contributions, together with those of other enterprises and millions of individuals, will help ease the burden on the State budget and support the Government in accelerating the vaccination process, so that enterprises can return to their normal operations,” said Chang Bok Sang, president of CJ Vietnam.

The group’s subsidiaries active in various sectors in Vietnam have been among strong supporters behind the combat against the coronavirus pandemic.

For example, CJ Foods Vietnam and CJ Cau Tre donated an ambulance to the government of Tan Phu District, at a time HCMC was struggling with surging cases of Covid-19. Besides, Tous Les Jours Vietnam as another subsidiary has presented gifts to orphanages and nursing homes in HCMC and Long An Province, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, hoping that its small action would help keep the spirits of orphans and the elderly up to ride out the hardships induced by the pandemic.

In August, the MADE by CJ Foods kitchen operated by CJ Vietnam reopened its door and has been sending some 200 servings to anti-pandemic forces in District 7 each day, while Meat Master managed by CJ Vina Agri, in July, transported meat to areas short of food and sold it at stabilized prices as HCMC was adopting social distancing measures.

An employee at the MADE by CJ Foods kitchen operated by CJ Vietnam prepares meals for anti-pandemic forces in District 7, HCMC

Long-term and wholehearted support for the community

The contributions by CJ Vietnam and its subsidiaries, in fact, are just CSR activities fine-tuned to the current situation, as the South Korean has for several years engaged in other sustainable development goals for the community. CJ Vietnam has earlier implemented a variety of long-term support programs in the education and agriculture sectors.

Considering education as a key to brighter future for children, the group has rolled out multiple education-related programs to narrow the learning gap for vulnerable students in Vietnam and give many children better learning opportunities.

In April 2019, the group joined forces with UNESCO to launch a campaign to promote girls’ education in Vietnam, aimed at guaranteeing basic rights to education for Vietnamese girls.

Over US$500,000 from funds raised by the “CJ-UNESCO Girls’ Education Campaign” has been being disbursed for the education support program for Vietnamese ethnic minority girls within three years.

Moreover, CJ Group is planning to improve the condition of education for female students in Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan and Soc Trang provinces, where economic condition is at a disadvantage compared to other parts of the country. The support program will center on the development of education programs and provision of learning materials for schoolgirls, improvement of infrastructure such as bathrooms and water supply, and programs aimed at raising awareness on the importance of basic social education for parents.

In addition, countless disadvantaged students in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong have benefited from the group’s educational programs for seven years. Since 2013, CJ Vietnam has awarded hundreds of scholarships to underprivileged students with outstanding academic performances in Lam Dong Province.

CJ Vietnam’s another notable community program is that related to the agriculture sector known as the New Rural Development. The program, launched in 2014, is aimed at developing the agricultural value chain in Ninh Thuan Province. CJ Vietnam, in cooperation with the Korea International Cooperation Agency and the Ninh Thuan government, has developed a pepper farm to help farmers in the province gain a better life and create a source of pepper material for the group’s paprika production.

Through the support program worth millions of U.S. dollars, the group has sent South Korean experts to the province, supplied pepper seeds to local farmers and shared cultivation techniques to help them produce high-quality products and increase output, thereby earning stable income.

Since its representative office in HCMC was founded in 1998, CJ Group has expanded its business to multiple fields from food, food material, cake, coffee, logistics, animal feed, and livestock to cinema and movies. As of late 2020, CJ Group had invested some US$880 million in the Vietnamese market.

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